Why You Should Be Friends with Smart People Who Swear
Now I know why my circle of best friends are who they are! Although the scientific community continues to debate the conclusions of a recent study regarding people who voraciously use profanity, I choose to believe it.
Perhaps, this is because almost every one of my closest friends (you know who you are!) has the tendency to swear like sailors on shore leave! Not all the time, mind you. But the propensity is there. And, I'm not saying all sailors swear, either. (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge!)
In any case, this study conducted by psychologists Kristin Joy and Timothy Jay from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, (with data gathering help from UCLA) examined the Pragmatics of Swearing and had some interesting results.
Despite the fact that cursing in polite society, which is not only frowned upon but routinely discouraged, has the effect of leading us to make assumptions about the linguistically colorful person's IQ.
Apparently, and thankfully, for me and my verbally naughty friends, (at least according to this study) these assumptions would be incorrect. These scientists found that people who possess the skills to make up new and creative swear words are not only highly intelligent but are also more honest than less verbally expansive people.
They further found that people who curse more often are able to express themselves more freely, and are "truer to themselves and others".
All of this being said, I myself, still find it extremely repulsive, when people in public, (using absolutely no creativity whatsoever) feel the need to spew boorish, disgusting and obscene expletives within earshot of anyone present.
Our scientific friends' data notwithstanding, there is a time and place for creative curse-infused conversation.
Perhaps around a friend's firepit, working in your own office space, after running over your foot with the vacuum cleaner, falling down the basement stairs or off a ladder while decorating a Christmas tree, almost removing a digit with a sharp knife while chopping onions, being rear-ended on Western Avenue--that sort of thing!